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Deep Creek Lake Background


Deep Creek Lake is the largest reservoir completely within the Maryland's boundaries. Like all Maryland lakes, Deep Creek Lake is manmade, and was created in 1925 by impounding Deep Creek with an earthen dam to provide a water source for a nearby hydroelectric generating station on the banks of the Youghiogheny River.

The earliest water quality studies in Deep Creek Lake reported in the late 1940s were by fisheries managers assessing the potential for developing sportfishing opportunities in the lake. Beginning in the early 1970s, occasional water monitoring activities in the lake were conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and were focused on determining nutrient levels. Deep Creek Lake was one of several reservoirs in Maryland included in EPA's National Eutrophication Survey. These earlier water quality surveys were focused mostly on samples collected from the mainstem lake between the Dam and Turkey Neck.

After Maryland purchased the lake property in 2000, Department of Natural Resources (DNR) managers needed information to support decisions regarding lake management activities. In 2007, DNR contracted with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to establish stream load monitoring sites on Cherry Creek and Poland Run to assess the rate of sedimentation in the lake. In April 2009, DNR began a water quality monitoring program. Initially, eight mainstem lake and nine tributary cove monitoring sites were sampled.

Beginning in July 2014, the mainstemEyes on the Bay crew member with water filtering setup lake sampling effort was reduced to four sites. In July 2016, the previously established cove sites were discontinued and effort was redirected to increasing the number of cove sites monitored for physical water quality parameters (but no longer monitored for chemical sample analysis).

The map on the right shows the station locations for physical and chemical analysis sampling (beginning in 2009). Most of the sampling occurs from April through September, with limited sampling October through March at only a few stations, weather-permitting.

For a full-picture of all of the Deep Creek Lake monitoring conducted by Maryland Department of Natural Resources, as well as a summary of findings, read the comprehensive:
Deep Creek Lake Water and Habitat Quality Report 2009 - 2016 *

* Additional Deep Creek Lake reports and newsletters can be found by searching our Eyes on the Bay Publications Database, choose 'Deep Creek Lake' as your region of interest to narrow your search.